Visually-impaired students add light to Diwali dazzle

  • Ifrah Mufti, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Nov 09, 2015 10:58 IST
Visually-impaired students with the candles at Institute for Blind in Sector 26. (Ravi Kumar/HT)

They can’t define light but that is not a deterrent for them to adding dazzle to others’ lives every Diwali.

The 154 visually-impaired kids at the Institute of Blind in Sector 26, work overtime ahead of Diwali to pack maximum candles and brighten up hundreds of homes.

“The disability does not hold us back to let share the happiness with others,” said one of the visually impaired students as he was busy packing a variety of candles on Sunday, which was their last working day before Diwali vacations began.

Every year, these students help in packing thousands of candles through which, the institute manages to generate an income of around Rs 3-4 lakh. The earnings are then spent on the wellbeing of the students.

Principal of the institute Jagan Nath Singh Jyara said, “I believe that being blind is not a curse but a challenge for all of us. There needs to be a certain mechanism or certain strategies through which we can showcase our hidden talents and capabilities.”

“It is a wonderful realisation that though we can’t see the lights, we manage to lighten up many homes. A month before Diwali, we call the workers to make the candles and then in a week’s time, we ask the children to help in packing them. Some students form groups and then help each other in giving finishing touches to the candles.”

The smallest candle at the institute is available at Rs 15 and lotus-shaped candle is for Rs 30. The biggest candle in size is priced at Rs 40. A packet of 24 pieces is available for Rs 50, six pieces of fancy candles and eight pieces of simple candles are sold for Rs 80 each.

Jyara said, “We do not sell candles to run a business but to generate an income for the institute and to spend it on the children. There is no huge difference between the prices of the candles available in the market and the ones we sell. The residents willingly pay a couple of rupees extra for a cause.”

One of the girls, Suman, who was helping in packing the candles, said, “For four years, I am here at the institute and every year, I help in the packing them. It is one of the most joyous activities.”

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